Playground Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Seventy-five percent of playground injuries take place on public playgrounds.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), at least 200,000 children (age 14 or younger) are treated in emergency rooms each year for playground-related injuries. More than 10% of these are traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and the rate of TBIs is rising.

Because public playgrounds are numerous and easily accessible, most kids spend their time on these rather than private playgrounds. Thus, the largest percentage of playground injuries take place on public facilities. Monkey bars and climbing equipment are responsible for the highest number of injuries.

But despite the risks, we know kids love playgrounds and benefit from exercise and social interaction. The good news: Adults can play a key role in keeping kids safe on their favorite playgrounds with these tips and resources:

Playground Safety Rules for Adults 

how can adults prevent playground injuries

Here are four top risks that cause playground injuries. 

  • Areas underneath the equipment, known as fall surfaces, should be made of soft material such as wood chips, mulch, sand, or rubber.
  • Inspect equipment for any piece (especially metal) that may be hot from the sun.
  • Watch for hazards or protrusions like bolts, hooks, stumps, or rocks that could trip or cut children.
  • Look for neglected maintenance, such as rusty or broken equipment.
  • Make sure kids wear safe clothing. No loose scarves or hoodies with drawstrings, as these can become a strangulation hazard if entangled with equipment. Shoes should be comfortable for play and protect feet, like sneakers. Tie long hair back as well.
  • Make sure there are strong and sturdy guardrails to prevent falls.
  • Your children should be using age-appropriate equipment. Read all playground signs for warnings and instructions.
  • Most importantly, the best way to prevent injuries is parental supervision. Talk to your kids about appropriate playground behavior before you visit the playground and watch them while you’re there.

Playground Safety Rules for Kids 

  • Sit and swing and make sure the swing slows down before jumping off.
  • Always use both hands when climbing and do not rush.
  • Do not climb if the surface is slippery, wet, or too hot. 
  • Do not climb up the slides.
  • Do not walk in front of the swings when someone is using them.
  • Avoid broken equipment
  • Do not push or shove other children

Playground Safety Programs 

What to do if your child gets injured on a playground

To ensure your local playground is safe, the National Recreations and Parks Association has a network of Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSI). The CPSI certification program provides comprehensive and up-to-date training on playground safety issues, including hazard identification, equipment specifications, surfacing requirements and risk management methods. To find your local CPSI, click here.

A thorough playground safety checklist and ranking tool, created by the National Program for Playground Safety, can be found here. If you see safety hazards or poorly maintained equipment, reach out to the owner as soon as possible. In most cases, this will be a school or park district. 

If your child suffers injuries on a playground, you may have a liability lawsuit. Call James Mckiernan Lawyers for a free consultation today. 

Can I Sue if My Child Suffered Injuries on a Playground? 

what are my legal rights for playground injuries

Every situation is unique and you may be able to sue if one of the following parties are at fault:

  1. Someone else caused your child’s injury
  2. The playground was not following safety standards
  3. If the equipment malfunctioned 
  • Personal Injury Claim on a Playground

If another child or adult causes your child an injury by pushing, shoving, tripping etc at a playground, you may have a personal injury claim against that person or their family. If the injuries were very mild, it is possible to come to an agreement through negotiations. 

  • Premises Liability Claim After Playground Injuries

If the injury the child suffers was a result of broken parts, broken glass, other sharp objects etc, then you may have a premises liability case. It is the responsibility of the owner of the playground or the government if it is a public entity, to maintain safe conditions and upkeep the property. 

  • Product Liability Claim After Playground Injuries 

If the child suffers injuries due to faulty, defective equipment, you may have a product liability claim. For example: if your child uses the swing set and it collapses, this may result in serious injuries and a product liability claim for the manufacturer. 

What To Do If Your Child is Injured at a Playground? 

should I contact lawyers for playground injuries

If your child suffers injuries at a playground, contact the experienced James McKiernan Playground Injury Lawyers. It can be difficult to determine the responsible party, build a legal case and prove it in court or to settle. We will investigate on your behalf, gather the evidence and help you get the justice you deserve. Contact one of our locations today for a free consultation. 


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